While its great to have total control over studio lighting, which students at KAPA are thoroughly trained on, it is not always true that you need a whole lot of gear to create good images every single time. A ‘thinking’ photographer would make use of all available resources to their best possible use, and while you’re shooting in a room with large windows, it can give you great portraiture options.
If you’ve learnt a little about lighting, you already know that the on-camera flash is probably the least flattering light source for portraiture, as it tends to flatten your subject, eliminating most shadows on the model’s face. For good portraiture, you need shadows. And a window light provides you with a highly directional light source. Give it a try. If your photographs are looking too high in contrast, use a bounce on the opposite side of the light source.
The key is to get just as much contrast as required, and no more. For total control over this, a good understanding of lighting ratios would be the answer.